“Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life… love comes along and brings you a fairy tale.”
I adore this quote. So much so I have it in my office. What fascinates me about this saying is the fact that no matter what your circumstances are, love will always find a way. Most days, I like to take this theory a step further. I’m fascinated by historical societies, brotherhoods, and times past that become his story, her story— our story, supporting the ordinary element in a fairy tale. Why? Fairy tales are possibilities. And historical romance deals best with cultural norms, majestic settings, and how multiple possibilities come into play.
How is this relevant to what I write? Fairy tale love, my friends, is the most formidable love in existence. It’s adventure at its finest. Men in shining armor. Chivalry. Clashing steel and battling wit. A plethora of experiences that bridge humanity and forge a bond with generations that have come before and have yet to be born. Love and protection is a specialty of my favs— the Alpha males. Those hunky heroes I adore, dukes, viscounts, earls, pirates, officers and highwaymen. Formidable men rivaling no other. Loyal men willing to hack down enemies, trudge through black forests, and risk stepping into quicksand to avenge family and/or comrades, or rescue a lady love. These are hard, determined men, unwilling to bend until the right woman locates the chink in their armor and melts the steel encasing their hearts. Their devotion is hard won, but is a great reward.
Where do you find them? Alpha heroes can be inspired by fairy tale men like King Arthur, Lancelot, Hawkeye, Legolas, and Edward Cullen or modern-day actors like Jared Padalecki, Simon Baker, Rupert Penry-Jones, Richard Armitage, and (insert deep sigh) Chris Hemsworth. But no matter who they are or what they look like, these hard-edged heroes are the basis of legend and lore.
They have interesting names like Percival Avery, Marques Stanton, 7th Duke of Blendingham. They’re part bad boy like swashbucklers Thomas Sexton and Garrick Seaton, Viscount Northrop. They’re loyal and determined to make King and country proud like Simon Danbury and Lieutenant Henry Guffald. These are the men of Nelson’s Tea. They epitomize the scope of yummy Alpha goodness.
The Brothers Grimm perfected scripting fairy tales which formed the fabric of society, mannerisms, and etiquette today. When it came to alpha males, they said it best.
“Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right—all that falls to them is so much gain—all their geese are swans—all their cards are trumps—toss them which way you will, they will always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so much the faster. The world may very likely not always think of them as they think of themselves, but what care they for the world? What can it know about the matter?” Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales
So what’s in a fairy tale? Ordinary lives altered. A threshold crossed.
Storytelling at its most basic is his story, her story, our story rich with human failings, struggles, and success— the elements of an ordinary life we can all relate to.
Do you believe in fairy tales? Can you name a character fitting the alpha mold, one who’s inspired you or lives in your fantasies?
Rogues, Rebels & Rakes
DUKE BY DAY, ROGUE BY NIGHT 10/29 at Crimson Romance